PTC News Desk: Amid the ongoing Israel-Hamas conflict, the Palestinian death toll has tragically risen to over 27,840 individuals, as reported by the Health Ministry in Gaza. Additionally, approximately a quarter of Gaza's population is facing starvation, underscoring the dire humanitarian crisis unfolding in the region.
1. Discovery of Hamas Tunnel:
Israeli military forces have made a significant discovery, revealing a tunnel shaft located beneath a school operated by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA). This finding further underscores the complex and volatile nature of the conflict, with Hamas militants utilizing civilian infrastructure for their operations.
2. Airstrikes in Rafah:
Over the weekend, Israeli airstrikes targeted the southern Gaza city of Rafah, resulting in the deaths of at least 31 Palestinians. The escalation of violence in Rafah adds to the mounting casualties and destruction witnessed throughout the conflict.
3. Displacement and Humanitarian Crisis:
More than half of Gaza's 2.3 million inhabitants have been displaced due to Israel's military offensive, with many fleeing towards the border with Egypt in search of safety. However, with limited options for escape, displaced individuals find themselves trapped in overcrowded UN shelters or makeshift tent camps, exacerbating the already dire humanitarian situation.
4. Origins of the Conflict:
The conflict initially erupted with Hamas launching an assault on Israel on October 7, resulting in the deaths of approximately 1,200 individuals, predominantly civilians. Additionally, around 250 people were abducted by Hamas militants, with over 130 individuals still being held captive. Tragically, it is believed that around 30 of these hostages have lost their lives amidst the ongoing hostilities.
As the Israel-Hamas conflict persists, the region remains entrenched in violence and suffering, with urgent international intervention needed to address the humanitarian crisis and work towards a lasting resolution to the underlying tensions.
Israeli military unveils Hamas tunnel network beneath UNRWA Gaza headquarters
1. Israeli military authorities have disclosed the discovery of an extensive tunnel network, stretching hundreds of meters and partially traversing beneath the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) headquarters in Gaza. This revelation serves as fresh evidence of Hamas's exploitation of crucial humanitarian infrastructure. Army engineers escorted journalists from international news outlets through these passages, shedding light on Hamas's tactics during a critical juncture for UNRWA.
UNRWA's Gaza City headquarters, situated in northern regions, became a focal point during the intense conflict between Israeli forces and Hamas, prompting a significant displacement of civilians. Israeli troops and tanks advanced into these areas early in the four-month-long war against the Islamist faction, causing mass displacement as hundreds of thousands of civilians sought refuge further southward.
These findings were found within @UNRWA facilities:— Israel Defense Forces (@IDF) February 10, 2024
Acting on ISA intelligence, the forces discovered a tunnel shaft near an UNRWA school, leading to an underground terrorist tunnel beneath UNRWA's main headquarters. The forces found electrical infrastructure inside the tunnel… pic.twitter.com/n5EWJpyI4o
2. On Saturday, Israeli airstrikes targeted the southern Gaza City of Rafah, resulting in the deaths of at least 31 Palestinians, with children constituting a significant portion of the casualties. This devastating attack occurred shortly after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced plans to prepare for the potential evacuation of hundreds of thousands of individuals in Rafah, in anticipation of a ground invasion by Israeli forces.
Reports from the Associated Press indicate that overnight airstrikes on residential homes in the Rafah area claimed the lives of 28 people, further exacerbating the humanitarian crisis unfolding in the region.
3. On Saturday, according to reports from Reuters citing four security sources, an Israeli strike targeted a Palestinian individual with close ties to Hamas, situated approximately 60 km (40 miles) inside Lebanon's southern border. Despite the strike, the targeted individual survived. However, three others were killed in the attack, one of whom was identified as a member of Hezbollah, a powerful Lebanese armed group backed by Iran and an ally of Hamas.
This strike marked a significant deviation from the usual border skirmishes between Hezbollah and the Israeli military, as it penetrated much deeper into Lebanese territory than previous exchanges of fire.
4. Tonight in Tel Aviv, at least seven protesters were detained during a demonstration demanding the release of hostages and advocating for new elections, as reported by The Times of Israel. Several protesters obstructed a section of the Ayalon Highway heading south, resulting in their arrest. Additionally, the demonstrators ignited bonfires and temporarily blocked the highway's southern lane.
5. A large assembly congregates at Jerusalem's Paris Square, rallying in solidarity for the hostages. Urging action, families of those still held captive by Hamas implore Benjamin Netanyahu to secure the safe return of their beloved relatives. It is estimated that Hamas continues to detain over 100 hostages out of the total 253 taken from Israel on October 7.
(Inputs from agencies)